There are many ‘myths’ and ‘rules’ about looking after our skin, but lets get back to basics. Our skin reflects our health and well-being. Is our complexion bright, vital, with great circulation or is it sallow, red, dry, bloated, waxy, spotty or grey?
Much can be observed through assessing our complexion.
Our skin the largest organ of the body (the epidermis) can in some cases weigh up to 3.6 kilograms and cover 2 square metres (2). And like the heart, liver or brain for example it has certain functions that are required to work smoothly to maintain a balance within our body, our homeostasis. It clears our toxins, maintains our temperature and it requires nutrition, hydration and adequate time to rest and so rejuvenate and recuperate.
The skin is a very flexible barrier against UV light, bacteria, viruses and foreign objects entering the body, and it makes up part of the immune system. The sweat glands allow our body to excrete toxins and excess minerals from the body (1).
Being aware of our skin tone and texture and making sure it is cared for is essential and not just for how we look, but for our overall health and wellbeing.
1. Gentle exercise: Getting our heart gently pumping can support our skin to shine. There is no need to wear ourselves out and put ourselves off the gym for ever. A 10 minute walk around the block, breathing gently, being aware of how our body feels, can do it. If we feel our heart beat increase and our body warm up, it is increasing oxygenated blood and nutrients to our living layer of skin cells, (3). When our circulation is improved it can bring a glow to our skin. More natural oils can be produced reducing dry and flaky and dull skin. It supports all of our bodies systems, in fact the lymphatic system unlike the vascular system relies on movement to pump vital lymph around our body. This is the fluid that transports, white blood cells (4). which is a critical part of our immune system and processes any potential danger from foreign bacteria, viruses, old cells and eliminates them from the body. Bringing daily gentle exercise into our routine allows the body systems to eliminate, toxins and waste products that otherwise can become sedentary, stagnant and build up.
2. Fluid Intake: Not all drinks offer healthy hydration. Consider reducing or eliminating alcohol caffeine and sugar, these substances require additional processing in the body through the liver, kidneys and intestines, where as water comes ready to go, concerning supporting our bodies and if we want it flavoured we can add a lemon or lime to it or try out a herbal tea. One University of Missouri-Columbia study showed that drinking 500 millilitres of water (about two cups) increased blood flow to the skin (5) which means it is oxygenating, flushing out toxins and regenerating. Our bodies are already around 60% water (6) and it is a essential factor in supporting our systems flow and function to maintain adequate hydration.
3. Reduce your Sugar intake: Refined sugar, found in drinks and white bread for example causes our insulin levels to rise. What this means for your body is increased inflammation which produces enzymes, (which are molecules and proteins that support chemical actions in the body) (7). The enzymes then go on to break down collagen and elastin which can increase sagging skin and wrinkles. Also digested sugar will attach to collagen in your skin permanently. This is called ‘glycation’. The impact of this includes increased ageing effects, and it is thought to exacerbate skins condition like acne and rosacea (8).
4. Practice Body Awareness: Lets consider our expression, do we hunch our shoulders, furrow our brows or purse our lips? Just considering these three actions tell us a lot about how a person is feeling: perhaps stress, low self-esteem and worry? Being aware of when we furrow our brow etc can mean we can choose to relax our face and not hold on to tension. We all know innately what our bodies and other people’s bodies tell us. Learning to tune into the messages our bodies communicate and what we are doing with our bodies is a great way to pick up on illness in the early stages of development and counter postural and emotional habits which may not support us. Assessing our facial skin tone regularly also can show us signs, considering whether we are getting enough sleep, hydration and healthy fats.
5. Adequate Rest and Sleep: The key here is ‘adequate’, rather than collaspsing into bed or forcing ourselves to bed and twisting and turning all night and getting up more tired. It is about finding a sleep rhythm that supports us to feel well. Insomnia is very common and can cause great distress. Allowing ourselves the space to learn supportive sleep and rest patterns is vital to our overall health and our skin will also benefit from this choice. Reducing stimulants such as alcohol, nicotine, sugar, caffeine and even TV before bed can offer the body a chance to rest before bed time arrives. If we get into bed straight after watching a murder mystery on TV it is no mystery why our body cannot rest. Taking time to prepare with a bath or shower and a quiet 10 minutes reflection of the day and perhaps writing any reminders down for the next day without worrying about them over night can support our general health and of course our skin.
And, it is so important that If we do decide to try a new routine to our day, or let go of an old habit, that we be gentle with ourselves and understanding. It takes time to refine and adapt old behaviours that do not support us.
If we appreciate that we are making self-care part of our routine it is likely to stick around.
Enjoy glowing from the inside out!
Contact us to find out about our Organic Beauty Facials, browse our products and get advice for your skincare routine.
We also run regular wellbeing workshops including on facial and skincare events where you get to try the products and take samples home.